Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Japan/Royalty and nobility task force/Archive 1

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Japanese Royalty and Nobility discussion from Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals

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  1. Chris 09:55, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  2. Hirohisat 07:21, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I have every intention of continuing to edit nobility-related articles. Do we really need this as a separate project, though, rather than a task force structure? WP:MILHIST works beautifully with a task force structure, and has successfully incorporated a number of inactive WikiProjects into itself. I think we'll have more success, more activity, with this by making it a task force and including all of the WP:J editors, rather than splitting it off. LordAmeth 13:58, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I would enthusiastically support a task-force level structure for this, just wanted to see if it would be worthwhile. :) Chris 21:42, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with LordAmeth that this would be better as a taskforce, and would likely garner more assistance. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:46, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Names and Title

Editing Emperor Go-Toba I met two questions about namig Royalty and notibility around the late 12th C Japan.

Fujiwara or whatever?
Like Bojo, nobilities in those days are referred in two ways. With their family name (e.g. Bojo) or their clan name (Fujiwara). I don't know the English writing about this field, but in Japanese, both addresses are valid and used. So how should we call them in their own article and in related ones? In Emperor Takakura I wrote tentatively "Bojo [or Fujiwara]" but I am not sure if it is the best solution.
Nyudo-shinno or Hosshinno
Some Imperial Prince (shinno) became monks and addressed Nyudo-shinno or Hosshinno in the later periods (probably from the middle of Muromachi period). Is there any conventional rule of translation / address in English? One early example is found at Emperor Takakura#Genealogy.

Thanks for your opinions in advance! --Aphaia 11:40, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I think the key thing in all of these cases is to consider which form is most common in English. The vast majority of historical figures, even many relatively obscure ones, will have common forms by which they are known. All of the Ashikaga and Tokugawa shoguns could be, I imagine, considered to be members of the Minamoto clan, and likely used that name in formal documents and such, but are nevertheless best known today, in English at least, by the name Ashikaga or Tokugawa, not Minamoto. Likewise for most members of most branch families throughout history...

My vote is to stick with some standard (e.g. calling all Imperial Princes "Prince" regardless of whether or not they later became monks) except in those particular cases when someone is definitively more well-known by another name. There are of course plenty of exceptions (Fujiwara no Kamatari vs Nakatomi no Kamatari; Kibi Makibi vs Kibi Daijin, etc) where there is no definitively more common phrasing... but for those where some standard form can be reached, or a definitively most common name can be used, we should use it. LordAmeth 12:47, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Point taken, and I would love to know the common addresses. But LordAmeth, we are now considering only the late 12th C kuge people, not feudal times bushi, so I think your examples are not fitting to this case I brought up. In that period some kuge began to referred with their residence and later they were considered to initiate their "family" under that name. They are referred in both ways, even today, at least in Japan, based on contexts. that is the big difference of people you brought up.
It is a serious matter I think - today I cleaned up Emperor Takakura where one same lady (Empress Dowager) referred twice under the different surname, attributed wrong kanji - I assume both names are found in English sources and contributor(s) may not have known this duplication? In other words we cannot determine which is commonly used.
So I suppose it would be better to refer both clan and surname for people in this age (the late 12th C - the early 13th C), if they are frequently addressed with both names, for avoiding further confusions. --Aphaia 14:27, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I see no problem with including the full name in these kinds of references, to avoid confusion, but when it comes to article titles, we need something simpler and more straightforward. We really should not create article titles like Court Lady Shosho (Taira no Shigeko) or Empress Dowager Kenrei (Taira no Tokiko).

I still think that (a) there is more often than not a more common form in English sources to be found - is the Empress Dowager Kenrei more frequently known as Taira no Tokiko or is it the other way around? (b) some standards could be reached. Empresses and the like aside, I think it's a good idea to use "Taira" or "Fujiwara" or whatever the clan name is over some religious title, place-name association, or other pseudonym acquired later in life. For example, Hōjō Masako is known as ama-shōgun (the nun shogun), but we still call her Hōjō Masako. ... I apologize that my examples come from bushi families, as I am more familiar with them, but I am sure that the same logic applies to the Fujiwara as it does to the Minamoto and Taira. LordAmeth 22:07, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree we could some standards, and hope someone who are familiar with English references give the idea. I am afraid you miss the point again, my concerns is basically "either family name or clan name, or both", not go to the title yet, while it could be within the scope of this issue.
Please see the diff[1], there is a lady named Fujiwara Taneko or Shokushi (if we are not sure the exact name of people, we render onyomi for those people) or Bomon Taneko or Shokushi, who titled Shichijo-in (could be translated into Empress Dowager Shichijo or whatever); before tweaking the information is in a mess, she listed twice and one entry was miserably confused - so my original question arise: how can we write down this kind of complicated addresses?
As for the title, I would like to point out "XX-in" (like Kenreimonin, you translated Empress Dowager Kenrei) is the official, court-given title and "amashogun" was rather a nickname, so the latter couldn't be used in academic sources to address the person in question, but the former is. Our problem is, I suppose, if we would like to use either the name (or precisely one of addressing) or the title, or both - we haven't to use a parenthesis necessarily, just can juxtapose two, like Empress Dowager Kenrei, Taira no Tokuko as wodely used in Japan. However we can use redirects, it could be not a big deal which we obtain as the article name. For your reference, not as the emperor, not every In-titiled empresses dowagers are conventionally referred with their titles, some with their titles, others with their original names, and more complicated, there are many noble women who titled "In" but had never been empresses (mother or grandmother of certain emperors or just his sisters and so on). Avoid this kind of complexity, Japanese Wikipedia uses their original names, just for your information. --Aphaia 00:46, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see. That can get complicated. But, in a way, my point is proven - I have never seen Kenreimonin referred to as anything different - as soon as I saw "Kenreimonin" I suddenly knew exactly who you were talking about, where Empress Dowager Kenrei and Taira no Tokuko (Tokiko?) didn't register anything with me. This is precisely what I mean when I say that there is a more common name to be used. Helen McCullough's translation of the Tale of the Heike, to take just one example, only ever calls her Kenreimonin. ... That said, I think that we should try to include as much information as possible. I think that references to her in other articles should call her Kenreimonin (or "Kenreimon'in" or "Kenreimon-in" or whatever), as should the title of her article, but then within that article, other names and titles can be given. ... All told, you certainly do seem to know what you're talking about, so I am sure that if you simply do what you think best, it'll work out fine in the end. LordAmeth 09:36, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Point taken, and it looks nice to me that we'll use "the most widely used name in the English speaking world". It would be somehow heuristic and need reliable sources based on which we can claim so-and-so addressing are popular/most favorable. Your example of Empress Kenrei sounds me persuasive: possible problems are, like what I referred, the cases for the minor figures. So I prefer to have a set of basic rules or basic references we could rely, besides the accepted wisdom of "most popular names": which may include the first-class references you are expected to have at hands. Could you please recommend some? It will be a great asset for this task force. --Aphaia 10:55, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I was only able to take a very few books with me when I moved to Japan a month ago, so I don't have too many books on me, though I can double-check things at the school library. They have, among other things, a set of the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan, which I think should count just as well as anything else as a reliable source for a standard (if not the standard) English name for any given subject. Among the books I left back in NY which could be quite good if others have access to them are Louis Frederic's "Japan Encyclopedia" and any number of translations of classical stories, plays, and texts. For example, Helen McCullough's version of the Tale of the Heike, Royall Tyler's survey of Noh theatre, or for that matter any general survey text of the "History of Japan", such as George Sansom's, should suffice I think to help provide a sense of what names are common. LordAmeth 12:45, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Article naming

The article on Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi was recently moved to Imperial Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi, citing MOS-JP. I was not aware that MOS-JP makes any mentioned of such naming, nor that there was consensus on such a move, and since the Kuni-no-miya family is a oke branch and not in direct lineal descent of the Imperial family, I consider title to be somewhat misleading. It is also inconsistent with article titles of other oke members. Should the title be reverted? --MChew (talk) 15:18, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

  • It is inconsist with other articles, including his father.
  • As for style, it should be "His Imperial Highness" as far as I understand. In Kunaicho's website, not only shinno and naishinno, but o and nyoo are styled as His or Her Imperial Highnesses, for example, Princess Tsuguko, a nyoo is styled as Her Imperial Highness Princess Tsuguko[2]. --Aphaia (talk) 16:38, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Article naming of Princes

I tried to link for ja:伏見宮貞致親王, a prince of a branch of the Imperial house Fushimi-no-miya and found I had no clear idea what was the best naming of him in English.

There is an article of his house and it contained a red link to Fushimi-no-miya Sadayuki shinnō but I have no idea to determine if it is good / widely acceptable.

The modern branch and their princes are simply named just with their branch name / title only, like Prince Akishino or Prince Mikasa, but we cannot use this way for Fushimi-no-miya or Prince Fushimi, since there were more than ten princes titled in this name.

Opinion? --Aphaia (talk) 13:03, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

State visits

Hi, I need help: I'm interesting in all the State visits that H.I.M. the Emperor Akihito has made since 1989. I need to know date and country and cities he visited. In the official Emperor House website [3] I found an interesting table ([4]), but it's only in Japanese (I don't speek Japanese). Maybe somebody is interested in make a new article with this information (or to translate it for me). I made the article of the spanish King, Juan Carlos I, in the spanish wikipedia (es:Visitas oficiales al exterior del rey Juan Carlos I), for an exemple.

I'll be waiting for answers at my discussion page in the spanish wikipedia es:Usuario Discusión:Leonprimer.

Chrysanthemum Throne

This subject seems to generates minor, intermittent controversies -- see Talk:Chrysanthemum Throne#Off-topic. There are perennially unresolved questions about what needs to be considered "off-topic"? I wonder if someone might have a constructive suggestion about how to transform this recurring problem into a non-controversial article? --Tenmei (talk) 00:55, 12 February 2009 (UTC)


Do we want to create an infobox (or more than one) which can be used for Japanese nobility, royalty, etc.? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:22, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

GA reassessment of Hiroh Kikai

I have conducted a reassessment of the above article as part of the GA Sweeps process. I have found some concerns with the referencing which you can see at Talk:Hiroh Kikai/GA1. I have placed the article on hold whilst these are fixed. Thanks. Jezhotwells (talk) 19:05, 16 July 2009 (UTC)